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Grade 4/5 students at Waverley Drive PS combine math and art skills 

November 3, 2020 

GUELPH, Ontario – Grade 4 and 5 students at Waverley Drive Public School recently combined their math and art skills during a unique aquarium project.  

Grade 4/5 teachers Andrea Bardens and Tanya Hipfner teach the gifted class at the school and have seen that these students need extensions and a more project-based approach to their learning, therefore this combined project was born.  

Hipfner adapted this project from an American resource. Students were presented with a series of questions that they had to complete in order to find out how many waves, fish or scuba divers they needed for their aquarium. The math part of this project was based on place value, addition and subtraction. Students used numbers such as the school street address or phone number and dates to isolate a specific place value digit. 

Students were also presented with problem solving activities about how different countries write out the date in numerical form or whether all the different species in the aquarium would actually be found together.  

Once the calculations were finished, students used water colours to paint the aquariums. This project took three periods to complete the math portion and then students spent a morning with the art portion.  

Students loved this project and were very motivated to work on it. According to Hipfner and Bardens, they love assignments like this and collaborate on many of their activities to present math and art to students in interesting ways.  

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